Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, & Song of Songs - NIV
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College Press NIV Commentary Series is formatted with a verse-by-verse explanation of the text. It was developed for both the scholar and the average Bible student. The Colllege Press NIV Commentary Series is the only full commentary set in print from the Restoration Movement. Each volume (41 volumes for the Old & New Testament) contains the following helpful features:
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Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, & Song of Songs:
Typically known as part of the Wisdom Literature category, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes provide insight into the process of obtaining and keeping wisdom. Interestingly enough, these books point out that pursuing wisdom on one's own is uselss because wisdom is a gift from God. Wisdom that is described in these two books is wisdom that is sought out, not in solitude, but in community with God and other human beings.
Two aspects of wisdom are described in Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. In Proverbs, we see that "lower wisdom" is what the author primarily describes. Lower wisdom deals with wisdom that is gleaned from the observation of day-to-day events; it is the more experiential and practical wisdom, and it is optimistic in nature. Bland describes the search for wisdom as a journey and describes the journey in Proverbs as a search for "the order by which creation and society live." Ecclesiastes, on the other hand, describes "higher wisdom" and is more cynical in nature. Ecclesiastes and Job, the other book in the Wisdom Literature category, as the "why" questions. These books deal with the difficult situations in life, for which there are no easy answers. Bland describes this journey for wisdom as "the search for the meaning of life."
Song of Songs is unique in nature to the biblical canon. Though its poetry format is not uncommon, its content is, for the Song of Songs is a book of love poems. Within the pages of this inspired book is the description of a deep and abiding love between a man and a woman. Scholars have long debated its interpretation. Should we look at the love relationship described as allegorical, that is, as a story which describes divine love between God and his people? Or should we take a more literal approach and simply accept it for what it is: a celebration of love and physical intimacy? Whatever the conclusion some may reach, Bland points out that one fact cannot be denied; Song of Songs describes a theology of intimacy. The physical aspect of the love described within should be seen as an important dimension of humanity that is designed by God himself. The characters in Song of Songs celebrate their physical love for one another. The emphasis of their relationship focuses on the commitment they have to one another and the exclusivity of that relationship.
Proverbs, Ecclestiastes, & Song of Songs has 469 pages.
About the Author:
Dave L. Bland is the associate professor of Homiletics at Harding University Graduate School of Religion. Prior to that he was an associate professor at Columbia Christian College, Portland, OR. He has served as the pulpit minister at Eastside Church of Christ, Portland, OR, and White Station Church of Christ, Memphis, TN. Dr. Bland received his B.A. (1975) from Harding University, his M. Div. (1980) from Abilene Christian University, his D. Min. (1985) from Western Seminary, and his Ph.D. (1994) from the University of Washington. Dr. Bland is a member of the Academy of Homiletics and has been published in several periodicals.
About the Editors:
Terry Briley, Ph.D., is a associate professor of Bible at Lipscomb University, Nashville, Tennessee, since 1986. Terry Briley received the B.A. from David Lipscomb College (now Lipscomb University), then a M. Phil. and Ph.D. from Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati, Ohio. In addition to teaching at Lipscomb University, he is the Senior Minister at Natchez Trace Church of Christ and leads an annual summer mission trip to Brazil.
Paul J. Kissling, Ph.D., is professor of Old Testament and Biblical Languages and Area Chair in Bible/Theology at Great Lakes Christian College, Lansing, Michigan. He is an elder at Meridian Christian Church in Okemos. Paul Kissling received the Bachelor's degree from Great Lakes Christian College, the M.Div. from Lincoln Christian Seminary, the Th.M. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and the Ph.D. from the University of Sheffield (England). Paul has taught and preached in over 15 countries and serves as Old Testament specialist on the Board of the Stone-Campbell Journal.
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